When God moves in the hearts of youth we are all positively affected. About six months ago, we in the youth ministry were hearing that the 12th graders were having a hard time juggling school, work, life, family, and college applications. They were stressed about the trajectory their lives would take. Many believed their decision about college would set them up for success or failure. A couple of months later, I began inviting them to my house once a month for a meal, a time to check in, and time to talk about topics or issues that are important to them.
I have noticed that we have established an amazing community. The students who come to my house get to see the messiness of life with two children under three years of age. We leave the front door unlocked for the students to come right in, just like it’s their own home. They play with our children, shoot basketball, talk around the kitchen island, grab a seat and relax for a minute, or help prepare the meal. The house is filled with the sounds of bouncing balls, cooking, laughter, excited children, students sharing about their day, and more. It’s a great symphony of community being together despite the busyness of life. We don’t hide who we are, and really can’t because they are at our house. But no matter how the house is, the students don’t care.
Thinking back, I realize these students have been asking for this all along, but it took me finally opening my eyes to see it. Don’t we all desire authentic community where we can be ourselves? God has worked through our students this year, but this is where God opened my eyes so the 12th graders could get the support they need. We have talked about light-hearted things, heavy things, and everything in between. Tears have been shed, laughter has hurt our stomachs, and good food has been eaten. I believe this is what true community looks like. We are with each other in the midst of the messiness of life, warts and all, not caring if the house is a little dirty or that someone shows up late after work. The only thing we care about is that we are together to support each other, listen to each other’s opinions, and seek to grow in our faith.
We have had a blast and I look forward to our times together each month. Something I cannot explain happens when we get together. God brought us together and has been working in this little small group ever since.
– Dane Martin

Contact / Location

Contact info

123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

Gathering Times


8:00am, 9:15am, 11:00am